So Long Denver: Keiretsu Forum Chapter Folds

There’s almost always some shutdown news that precedes Thanksgiving, and this year appears to be no different. The Keiretsu Forum’s Denver chapter has decided to fold after its December events, due to dwindling membership.

In an email obtained by peHUB, chapter president Steve Murchie says that the Denver group is down to just 10 active angel investors, compared to a chapter high of 35. He also says that Keiretsu Forum may stop in Denver as part of a traveling roadshow, with more specific details to come at the group’s final meeting on December 2.

Murchie makes no reference to Keiretsu Forum leadership recently asking chapters to waive presentation fees for pre-revenue startups that are seeking to raise less than $500,000 from investors. That move was widely viewed as a response to Jason Calacanis’ public attacks on the pay-to-present model, although Keiretsu said it had been in the works for several months.

Here is a copy of Murchie’s letter:

Friends and colleagues

For the past three years, I’ve had the privilege of working with each of you to build an active angel group here in Denver. I’m proud to say that in that time, our group has raised nearly $6M for a variety of new businesses both here in CO and outside the region. We’ve held more than a dozen investor education events with some truly incredible presenters. We’ve also given back to our community through the support of more than 25 non-profit, educational, and service organizations. It’s been a great run, but the time has come to turn a page.

Regrettably, the current economic conditions have taken their toll on angel activity. From a high of thirty-five investor members, we’re now down to about ten active participants. A group that size isn’t financially sustainable using our membership model, nor is it likely to drive investment volume at a pace that is fair to entrepreneurs. For those reasons, I’ve decided to close the Denver chapter of the Keiretsu Forum after our two December events. There are plans in the works to include Denver as part of a traveling “roadshow” each month; more details on that at our next Forum meeting.

Next Wednesday, December 2, will be our regular monthly Forum meeting from 2-5:30pm, followed by a reception to celebrate all the good things that have happened this year. Moye White will be our host for both, and I invite you to attend one or both. Details are in the attached invitation. Please RSVP to me with your specifics.

Friday, December 4, will be an investor academy on the topic of “finders” and SEC efforts to crack down on unregistered broker/dealer activities. Holland and Hart will be our host for this event, and details are attached. Please RSVP to me if you’d like to attend.

As for myself, I plan to stay active in the Rocky Mountain startup ecosystem. In addition to supporting whatever angel programs continue here in the region, I’m involved in some other funding activities that will be announced soon.

I thank you all once again for your encouragement and support over the past few years, and look forward to working together on other challenges.



Steve Murchie
Chapter President
Keiretsu Forum Denver/Rockies